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Brief Rundown On Puget Sound Fishing After Wdfw / Tribes Reach Agreement

State and tribal fishery managers agreed May 26 on 2016's salmon fisheries for Puget Sound. Changes from 2015 include:

  • Fishing will be closed on the following rivers during September and October to protect coho: Skagit, Cascade, Snohomish, the mainstem Stillaguamish, Green and Nisqually. Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish will also be closed to fishing in September and October.
  • The Puyallup River will be closed to recreational salmon-fishing this year. The Carbon River will open for 15 days to recreational salmon-fishing in which anglers may keep up to two hatchery chinook.
  • The Skykomish River, however, will be open to fishing for hatchery chinook salmon and hatchery steelhead June 1 (or as soon as WDFW has federal authorization to open) through July 30.
  • Anglers can retain two hatchery chinook, plus two sockeye, when fishing in marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) from July 1 to Aug. 15.
  • Anglers fishing in Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands) in July can retain two salmon including two hatchery chinook (but must release coho and wild chinook) and can retain one hatchery or wild chinook in August and September as part of their two salmon daily limit.
  • The forecast for sockeye returning to Baker Lake is strong enough to allow for both a lake fishery, open mid-July through early September, and a fishery on the Skagit River, which will be open June 16 through July 15 with a guideline of 4,600 fish.
  • Marine Areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Ports Susan and Gardner) will remain closed to salmon fishing until November, when anglers will be allowed to retain hatchery chinook but must release coho. 
  • Marine areas 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) will be open July 16 to Aug. 15 to fishing for hatchery chinook. The areas could close early if the chinook quota in each area – 3,056 fish in 9 and 1,395 fish in 10 – is met.
  • Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) will be open to coho fishing both north and south of Ayock Point starting Aug. 16 and July 1 respectively.
  • Anglers fishing south of Ayock can retain up to four hatchery chinook, 20 inches or bigger, July through Sept. 30. Anglers with a two-pole fishing endorsement can fish with two poles from July through October. Those fishing north of Ayock can fish for hatchery chinook beginning Oct. 1.
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) will be closed to salmon-fishing in September and October to protect coho. The area also will be closed to fishing for blackmouth (winter hatchery chinook) November through January. The area typically is closed to salmon fishing in January.
  • Piers that are typically open year-round will be closed to salmon fishing during September and October to protect coho, except for the piers within Sinclair Inlet, which will be open year-round.  When piers are open, anglers may retain one chinook but must release all coho, except at Sinclair Inlet piers, where anglers may retain hatchery coho. 
  • The lower mainstem of the Skokomish River will be closed to non-tribal fishing this year due to a claim by the tribe that the river is part of the Skokomish Reservation and public access is prohibited. WDFW is working to evaluate this claim. The closed area includes the section of river from the Tacoma Public Utilities power lines (near the mouth of the river) upstream to the Bonneville Power Administration power lines (upstream and west of Highway 101). The department advises anglers to observe this closure of the state's fishery that will be monitored by WDFW police.
  • A complete description of Puget Sound salmon fisheries can be found in the 2016-17 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in the coming weeks. Check WDFW's fishing regulations webpage at for more details.
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